Could Minicamp Fight Lead To Sanctions Against The Saints?

"C'mon, Lofton...a few more steps and I'll remind you that you DON'T TOUCH THE QUARTERBACK!! Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

As we saw in Satch's Fleur-de-Links earlier, there was a fight at today's minicamp practice, following contact that occurred during live action.

Usually that kind of thing is a "no big deal" and a "we like to see fire and protectiveness" situation, but Mike Florio is positing that as a result of this contact and fight, the Saints could once again be facing league sanctions.

More after the jump...

First, a bit on the skirmish itself.

I won't rehash it all here (you can go check the "Fight! Fight!!" section of the FDL to read all the gory details), but from the reports I have read, it started when LB Curtis Lofton made contact with QB Chase Daniel after rushing in unblocked and attempting to deflect his pass. At this point, Daniel threw the ball to the ground near Lofton's feet and it hit him, and then everyone else jumped in.

As I wrote above, normally this is something that happens in these practices from time to time, and is not worthy of an entire post, but the point Florio makes and the precedent he cites are compelling.

The new Collective Bargaining Agreement signed last August calls for "no live contact" during OTAs, and in this instance, it seems as if live contact was made during the drill when Lofton connected with Daniel, leading to the larger fight.

And here's the precedent he cites, (which is a nugget I missed yesterday):

The Seahawks lost a pair of OTA days on Tuesday, based presumably on rough play that preceded a series of skirmishes last month during a voluntary practice. Receiver Doug Baldwin reportedly was hit hard by safety DeShawn Shead. KJR's Curtis Crabtree said during Wednesday's PFT Live that a hit on receiver Ben Obamanu also triggered a fracas that same day.

Click here to read the story by Danny Kelly and subsequent member comments over at Field Gulls.

Mile High Report had a story on it with a link to the CBA as well as NFLPA response and more on the full range of sanctions available for such violations. Thanks, KaptainKirk.

Now here's Florio connecting the dots between the two (after quoting Joe Vitt's "petting zoo" response to the fight line)...

Fine, but there will be nothing funny about an effort by the NFL and the NFLPA to explore whether and to what extent the fight and the events preceding it constituted live contact. Since the NFL won't tell anyone exactly what got the Seahawks in trouble, it's impossible to use anything from that situation as guidance when determining whether the Saints crossed the line.

But "no live contact" apparently now means "no live contact," and contact during plays that result in contact after plays fits within the normal, common-sense definition of contact. And so it looks like there was something like live contact happening in New Orleans today.

* * *

OK, I find myself again dropping this question at the end of a post...Is this anything?

Do you think the Saints will be sanctioned for this? Would this even make it to a post on the "pre-bountyfarce" Canal Street Chronicles?

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